The Blessings of Ramadan: Dubai 2023

  • 6 months ago
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The holy month of Ramadan holds great significance in Muslim culture. One month of exceptional blessings, and the Muslims hold it in great regard, passionately following it with prayers and fasting. This period affects both the lives of residents as well as tourists and expats on account of changes in the opening hours of shopping malls and entertainment venues; timings for government agencies are reduced to accommodate fasting schedules, while certain restrictions are introduced for the general public in regards to eating and drinking in public places. Moreover, we will take a look at the special aspects of this holy month. How it affects the UAE as a whole, and the rules that you should observe during the month of Ramadan.

About The Holy Month of Ramadan

Muslims follow the lunar calendar, and Ramadan is the 9th month of it, during which Muslims must fast. While fasting, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and intimacy. At the time of sunset, the day’s fast ends, and the next one starts again at dawn.

  • Suhoor is the pre-dawn meal that one takes to get through the day and to keep good health while fasting. This meal follow by Al-Fajr, which is the morning prayer.
  • Iftar is the first and main meal after sunset which completes a Muslim’s day’s fast. The tradition for the breaking of your fast is to have a few dates, water in the spirit of simplicity. After the iftar, the Muslims perform the prayer of Al-Maghrib, which is the evening prayer.

The last 10 days of Ramadan hold special significance, and thus the Muslims pray most earnestly. The Muslims hold the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as their role model and often retire to the mosque for the entirety of the last 10 days of Ramadan. The duration of Ramadan is between 29 and 30 days by the Islamic lunar calendar. Which does not coincide with the Gregorian calendar. Every year, the day Ramadan begins shifts by 11 days. The exact dates are always confirm by the relevant moon sighting committee.

How Ramadan is celebrated in The UAE

The month of Ramadan in 2023 in the UAE will start after sunrise on March 23rd, according to Ibrahim-Al-Jarwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Astronomy Society and a member of the Arab Union of Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS). The month of fasting starts from first Ramadan, but exact date for the ending will announce by moon sighting committee.

According to Islamic history, during this period, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) started receiving revelations and began to comprehend Islam. The tourists and expats are residents of the UAE are responsible for ensuring that believers can fast without any restrictions. The foreigners do not need to adhere to the requirements and limitations of the holy month of Ramadan. But they need to show respect and understand the local customs and traditions.

Some UAE Laws

Article 331, paragraph A of the UAE Criminal Code explicitly states that the consumption of any kind, which includes food, drinks, smoking, or other activity that may violate a person’s fast of Ramadan, is punishable by a fine of up to AED 2,000 (USD 545) and even an arrest or jail time of up to 30 days. Dubai Real Estate, like private residential balconies and cars in the parking lots, are consider to be public spaces and consider as such when it comes to these restrictions. The chewing of gum and listening to loud music in a public setting is also not acceptable and may be punishable by law.

The basic requirements and restrictions for fasting in the month of Ramadan do not apply to underage children. Children under the age of 6 consider exempt, and ages 7–12 can usually fast for limited periods. In the UAE, children who reach the age of 12 are require to comply with the necessary rules and regulations of the month of Ramadan on an equal basis with adults.

The following groups and individuals are exempt from fasting in Ramadan:

  • Pregnant and lactating women;
  • Menstruating women;
  • Diabetics;
  • People who have a serious illness;
  • Elderly people;
  • Travelers

In addition to all the individuals listed above, expats and tourists visiting the country also have to abide by and meet the standards of appearance. All adults are prepare to be dress up neatly and in a conservative manner, with their arms and legs fully cover by their attire. Going out in public in swimsuits or tight or low-cut clothing is strictly prohibit by Government. Adults to follow a level of decorum and restraint while out in public and avoid all kinds of public displays of affection like kissing, hugging, and shaking hands.

Moreover, the month of Ramadan is a time of peace and repentance, so harsh words and gestures are frowned upon, so it’s better to avoid them and practice patience. Every day’s fast is complete at the time of the evening prayer, Al-Maghrib, when the Muslims have Iftar and pray afterward. Since the 1960s, the firing of cannons has been used to notify Muslims regarding the time of Iftar, and for exactly this purpose, five cannons have been installed in varying locations in Dubai to cover most of the vicinities. They are notably located in the Burj Khalifa, Atlantis (the Palm), and Al-Habbai Mosque, among a few other locations. In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, cannon firing is also use to call the Muslims for the evening prayer, with the cannons installed at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

How Urban Infrastructure Works + Rules To Abide By

By Federal Law, namely Law No. 8 of the 1980 Regulations of Labor Relations, the working hours of any representatives and employees of the private sector are reduce two hours during the month of Ramadan. All government departments and agencies also get shorter work hours during this period.

Schools and educational institutions also get amend timetables, with the day starting later and ending earlier. The basic rule is that the school day should end no later than 18:00. The exact opening hours are at the discretion of the schools and are set by each school on an individual basis. Working hours for kindergartens and playrooms are also reduce in these regulations.

The store timings vary considerably in the month of Ramadan, as they are usually open from 10:00 to 13:00 and then from 18:30 to 00:00. These timing restrictions do not apply to the large shopping malls and supermarkets, many of which are open 24/7. Contrary to popular opinion, over the past two years, the rules of Dubai for Ramadan have considerably goes relax for foreigners and tourists, while some catering establishments remain open throughout the day to serve and receive tourists. While two years ago, restaurant and cafe owners use to have to obtain the appropriate licenses and screen the windows, these restrictions have been abolishe as of late. According to a circular issued on April 11, 2021, by the Dubai Economic Development Department, restaurants and eateries in the Emirate of Dubai no longer require screening of their dining areas.

How UAE Serves Better?

On April 6, 2021, similar changes were made to the hospitality industry in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Department of Culture and Tourism authorized the tourism and hospitality establishments to cater to and serve foreigners and tourists during the month of Ramadan without the requirement of installing screens and partitions in their eateries. None of the rules and restrictions listed above apply to closed resorts, and they continue their daily proceedings as usual.

Around the time of Iftar, the number of people wishing to visit cafes and eateries increases significantly which is why the best course of action is to book the places in advance to avoid long lines and wait times. The time after Al-Maghrib prayer is of intense traffic buildup which can cause congestion and roadblocks.

Around the time of Iftar, many restaurants and eateries organize grand buffets and dining tents; for example, in Dubai, amazing buffets are arrange in the Atlantis, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Al-Bustan Rotana, Anantara Dubai, The Palm Resort & Spa, The Palm, Crowne Plaza, Dubai Festival City, and the Four Points by Sheraton every year.

Iftar Times All Around UAE

The exact time for Iftar varies considerably depending on the region and even the city, as it is link to the sunset. The Iftar buffets are open to all, be it a local Muslim or a non-Muslim tourist. It is essential to make sure that the fasting Muslims open their fasts promptly and can have a proper evening meal.

The sale and purchase of alcohol during the Month of Ramadan is restrict in the city bars till after Iftar time, although if one is present in a close resort, alcohol might be available for purchase during the day as well.

One must be prepare for the fact that mosques that are generally open to foreigners and tourists throughout the rest of the year may be close off for visits during the month of Ramadan due to ongoing projects or programs. Apart from that, the opening hours of beaches and parks remain unchanged. As far as the tourist attractions are concerned, they often switch to working half-days with an extended break during the middle of the day.

The Holy Month of Ramadan concludes with a celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, which is a public holiday UAE that lasts three days and celebrate by all the Muslim countries throughout the world. This event comprises Muslims preparing feasts, visiting relatives, and a huge exchange of gifts among family and friends. An integral part of this Muslim celebration is charity and helping those less fortunate; this is usually a major factor in most of the widely celebrated Islamic events. During Eid-ul-Fitr, all government departments and agencies are also close for holidays ranging anywhere from three to seven days.

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